Raising a Family

Last updated on September 13th, 2015 at 01:01 am

I am the mother of two amazing children, one boy – 10 years old and one girl – 6 years old. My son is autistic and my daughter isn’t. Needless to say, life around our house is challenging.

My son received his diagnosis at age five. We were literally on a roller coaster of doctor visits and evaluations before he received his diagnosis. We knew he was autistic, but hearing the words from the doctor was still hard to take. We survived. My son is wonderful and Lessick - Raising a family photowe do everything we can to help him.

Before getting pregnant with my daughter, my husband thought long and hard about having another child. Our biggest concerns were whether or not we would be able to give our son the attention he needed and what would happen if our second child ended up being autistic. We knew that there was a good chance that we would end up with two children on the spectrum, even though we did not have an official diagnosis at that time. In the end, we decided that no matter what, we would love both of our children and do whatever we had to do in order to make it work.

Our daughter was born, and we had no problems. Our son took to her immediately. He loved this bundle of noise the moment he set eyes on her. As they both grew a little older, our daughter has shifted between being little sister to big sister. Constantly going back and forth between the two, she has developed a special relationship with her brother. No one interacts with my son the way she does. She demands his attention and gets it. They laugh and play together in a way that makes me envious. My son does not interact with other children. He simply stands or sits on the sidelines and watches.

It’s amazing how accepting my daughter is of her brother’s differences. We have had to be careful about her copying him, though. Little sisters love to copy their older siblings. She is no exception. We take each occurrence as it happens, letting her know what is appropriate and what isn’t. We explain why and she struggles with her acceptance of it. When she was younger, the hardest instance of this was communication. My son is nonverbal and used to communicate solely with gestures and sounds. My daughter wanted to do the same and we had to constantly tell her to use her words. It was hard for her to understand why she had to when her brother did not.

We have overcome a lot in the last six years. At the heart of it, what has made us able to handle everything, is our love. My husband and I love each other and we love our children. We balance our time with each other and with the two of them. We have made sure we have plenty of family time and plenty of one on one time with each of our children. There is no rule book for raising a family that has a child with autism. All you have to go on is instinct and love. If you have those two things working for you, you can take on anything.

About the Author

I am a WAHM mom of two children. I have a 6 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. I like sharing information with everyone about autism and raising an autistic child. I operate an online blog called AutismLearningFelt. I share information, personal stories, as well as do product reviews and giveaways of autism and mom related products. My best advice to other parents raising a child with autism is to remember that loving your child is your number one priority.

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